Daily Archives: October 20, 2014

Want Real Progress? Disrupt Your Procurement!

Today, TechCrunch Europe kicks off in London. Designed to highlight up-and-coming technology start-ups, it pits them against each other in a start-up battlefield where the top fifteen, chosen from the hundreds that attend, get to pitch their products live in front of a a panel of expert judges and a live audience of thousands. After demos, pitches and questions, the judges select six to do it again the next day. The top company then takes home £30,000 (about $50,000 US on a good day) to try and take their start-up to the next level.

While the doctor doesn’t know how productive it is for hundreds of start-ups to waste tens of thousands of hours battling it out for a mere £30K, the fundamental idea of disruption could be very beneficial to your Supply Management organization if it truly wants to get to the next level on its Supply Management journey.

It’s time to get real. The reason 92% of organizations are not in the Hackett top 8%, and on their way to strategic business enablement, which is the third level of organizational maturity (as defined in Sourcing Innovation’s white-paper on Taking the First Step on Your Next Level Supply Management Journey), is because they don’t have the right Ts. Talent, Technology, Transition, Tracery (and two more Ts that will only come into play when they have the first 4 Ts down, which will be revealed in the sequel white-paper series).

The organization doesn’t have the right technology in place to help it automate the tactical and focus on the strategic. It hasn’t transitioned to the right process to maximize its efficiency. And its talent doesn’t have the knowledge and skills required to compete at a higher level of achievement. The status quo has to be disrupted for progress to be made.

Of course, since a primary precept of risk reduction is disruption elimination, disruption will be strongly resisted. That’s why you will have to provide the team incentives to support it.

Get permission from the C-suite, and a bit of a budget, and take a lesson from Disrupt and offer incentives to the team members who come up with the best ideas for process improvements, technology upgrades, and knowledge improvement. It doesn’t have to be large cash rewards — it could be public recognition (in an awards ceremony), extra time off, or even a bigger bonus if the effort generates a Return on Investment and extra realized savings at Procurement time. It doesn’t have to be a big cheque up-front. Most Supply Management professionals want to make things better, and if you give them a good incentive, they will go against the grain and disrupt their daily routine in an effort to make it, your Supply Management department, and your organization better.

So get disruptive.